Mardu Vehicles by Lucas Esper Berthoud at Pro Tour Aether Revolt – 1st

Creatures (22)
3 Inventor’s Apprentice
2 Pia Nalaar
4 Scrapheap Scrounger
1 Thalia, Heretic Cathar
4 Thraben Inspector
4 Toolcraft Exemplar
4 Veteran Motorist

Non-Creature Spells (15)
2 Aethersphere Harvester
3 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
4 Heart of Kiran
2 Shock
4 Unlicensed Disintegration

Lands (23)
2 Aether Hub
4 Concealed Courtyard
1 Foreboding Ruins
4 Inspiring Vantage
3 Mountain
1 Needle Spires
3 Plains
1 Smoldering Marsh
4 Spire of Industry

Sideboard (15)
2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
1 Cultivator’s Caravan
1 Fatal Push
1 Fragmentize
1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Inventor’s Apprentice
1 Needle Spires
2 Release the Gremlins
2 Selfless Spirit
2 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
1 Skywhaler’s Shot


After another exciting Pro Tour (this one without Smuggler’s Copter, Reflector Mage, or Emrakul, the Promised End), the top 8 of the tournament was set. It featured an innovative Jund Energy list which was Deck of the Day yesterday, a copy of B/G Delirium, and … 6 copies of Mardu Vehicles?!?! Yup, the 3-color aggro deck which wasn’t thought of as a tier one deck coming into the tournament was able to claim 75% of the top 8, including 100% of the decks which received at least 1 bye in the elimination rounds (places 1-4). After the first round of top 8, both of the non-Vehicles decks fell to the power of Heart of Kiran, which left all 6 of the remaining decks being Mardu Vehicles. After a lot of mirror matches, Lucas Esper Berthoud emerged victorious in 5 games against Marcio Carvalho in the final.

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The deck is fantastic at getting ahead and staying ahead. Toolcraft Exemplar, Veteran Motorist, and Scrapheap Scrounger are all excellent attackers and crew Heart of Kiran perfectly. If we learned anything from this weekend, 4 power turn after turn in the air is extremely good and hard to deal with. The difference in the successful Mardu Vehicles decks was found in the removal suite and Aethersphere Harvester vs. Cultivator’s Caravan. Harvester is better against other Vehicles decks, but Cultivator’s Caravan (along with Spirebluff Canal) enables Metallic Rebuke as a powerful sideboard option.

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As for the removal suite, Unlicensed Disintegration was an auto-include for these decks, but the big choice was Shock or Fatal Push. Shock is kinder on the manabase, but Fatal Push can kill cards like Winding Constrictor or Walking Ballista (with 3 or more counters) with ease. Shock can also be pointed directly at the opponent for some additional reach, so Lucas an many others opted for it, and I think it’s correct going forward.

Many people assumed that the B/G Delirium deck was good against Mardu Vehicles, but the pros discovered that it in fact wasn’t, so Mardu’s most prominent “bad matchup” was actually its strength. The original reason to play Mardu Vehicles was its good matchup against all variations of Copycat, which fold fairly easily to a solid combination of pressure and disruption. Mardu isn’t short on either. The main question now for people to consider, especially those that are planning on playing in a Grand Prix this weekend is, what beats Mardu Vehicles? It’s hard to say, honestly, but I would be surprised if it continues to be this dominant going forward.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


-1 Thalia, Heretic Cathar

-1 Inventor’s Apprentice

+1 Shock

+1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar


-1 Cultivator’s Caravan

-1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

-1 Inventor’s Apprentice

-1 Needle Spires

+1 Fatal Push

+2 Thalia, Heretic Cathar

+1 Fragmentize

This is day 37 of’s Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can ready day 36 here, where we covered another top 8 deck from Pro Tour Aether Revolt.

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